Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim: ‘Seifsa settlement massive victory’

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Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim says the Seifsa settlement offer is a massive victory given the pittance offer at the point of deadlock.”The settlement has been overwhelming and unamimously accepted by our members,” Jim said.The National Union of Metalworkers SA announced earlier on Monday that the strike in the engineering and metal sector was over after it accepted a wage offer.

The settlement offer of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa included a 10% wage increase every year for the lowest paid members for the next three years.

Jim called on workers to report for work from Tuesday.

Housing allowance

Numsa held a special national executive committee meeting over the weekend, following the tabling of a wage offer by the labour department aimed at ending the strike in the metals sector.

The new proposal includes a three-year agreement with increases of between 8 – 10%, depending on whether the workers were high or low earners.

Over 200 000 Numsa members in the metal and engineering sector downed tools on July 1, demanding a salary increase of 12%, down from their pre-strike demand of 15%. They also demanded a R1 000 housing allowance and a total ban on labour brokers.

The union announced on July 13 that it had lowered its wage demand to 10%.

The labour department and Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration facilitated talks between Seifsa and unions earlier this month when negotiations between the parties deadlocked.

Employers’ offer

The metals and engineering strike came soon after the end of a five-month walkout in the platinum sector, the longest and costliest strike in the country’s history.

The strike ended on June 23 when labour union Amcu accepted the employers’ offer.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union accepted a wage settlement that would increase the salary of the lowest-paid worker by R1 000 over three years.

The agreements run for three years.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum (Implats) and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) downed tools on January 23, demanding a monthly basic salary of R12 500.

NEWS 24

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